Column: Everyday Christians do God’s work
To all the normal Christians
Years ago I was invited to hear a well-known superstar pastor speak. As I sat in the enormous auditorium, the pre-service energy and excitement was high. Really high! A lady approached me and asked if I had ever heard him before in person. I told her no. She informed me I was in for an exciting experience. Wow, she was more than right, and awkwardly so!
The lights came down low. Huge monitors started flashing his name across the screen. The bass from the speakers was deep and drawn out. Then a deep voice bellowed as more lights flashed across the room, “This prophet of God has a message for you.” The introduction was so spectacular I was ready for a WWF wrestler to run out on the stage and tear his shirt off!
I have never heard such an intense message before! It was so different from my calm and collected professors. Honestly, I don’t even remember what he said, I just remember how he said it.
We live in the era of superstar Christians. It’s not just pastors – it’s musicians, politicians and even talk show hosts. It’s our fault we love to make people into little gods, yet equally love to tear them down again. We love to make people way more than what they really are, which is just people. They are all flawed messy sinners, every one of them.
Yet there is another danger that lurks in this era of superstar Christians and monster mega ministries – the assumption that elite gifting is what qualifies someone to do ministry so most Christians stop doing ministry and just watch a few of the “great” ones be great. This devastates the intent of the Gospel.
Henri Nouwen calls this human tendency “the temptation to be spectacular.”
What if imperfect people stopped obsessing over their lack of ability to eloquently communicate, or sing like an angel, or be a brilliant theologian and realized all the TRUE greatness that is in them is the message they carry?
So let the great singers sing to the glory of God, let the great preachers preach to the glory of God, let the deep theologians write to the glory of God…but remember, normal Christian, what really, eternally, makes them great isn’t them at all and is something that is absolutely in you, too.
You are not less qualified to change a life, so stop just observing others and go do God’s work yourself!